A SMART meter company in East Lancashire has carried out the UK’s first reading using a revolutionary technique.
For the first time, Bglobal, has read a smart meter from over a distance of one kilometre using ‘white space’ – the spare frequency of TV channels that is no longer utilised following the switch over from analogue to digital TV.
It comes as the government has revived a £11.7billion scheme to roll out smart meters to all homes and business between 2014 and 2019.
Smart meters measure and communicate individual properties’ energy usage back to utility companies for billing and monitoring purposes.
Bosses at the Darwen firm said the ground-breaking test would enable all properties, however remote, to have meters fitted as the signals can travel long distances and penetrate walls and obstacles easily and bring an end to estimated billing.
It will also help areas without cellular or wired broadband connections and is more cost effective as 'white space radio' needs a fraction of the power.
The trial was carried out with with Neul, a world leader in ‘white space’.
Aaron Forshaw, solution architect for Bglobal, said: “The use of ‘white space’ to collect meter readings could potentially revolutionise the nationwide roll-out of smart metering, as it breaks down one of the key barriers – that of communicating with meters in rural areas or other areas poorly served by cellular or wired-broadband connections.
“While Bglobal deploys the most appropriate technology for any given situation, the trial has shown that ‘white space’ can have a highly significant role to play in any smart meter programme.
“Through this innovative use of emerging technology, Bglobal is once again leading the way in pioneering the new ‘smart energy’ future.”
Jake Berry, MP for Darwen and Rossendale, said: “I have been vocally opposed to estimated billing for some time.
"I think the new smart meter will not only give a more accurate figure of the gas and electricity used but I hope it will encourage suppliers to help consumers save money by switching them to more appropriate tariffs.”